Welsh baker achieves slice of victory in first ever Britain’s Best Cake contest

A SKILLED apprentice achieved a slice of success in the first ever Britain’s Best Cake competition.

Coleg Cambria learner Naomi Spaven, from Mold, won the Fruit Cake category with a delicious dark chocolate, orange and ginger Bara Brith.

Naomi, who works as head baker at Wylde Bakery in Bebington, was also named among last year’s Rising Star finalists by the BIA (Baking Industry Awards).

Currently studying a Level 3 Apprenticeship with the college, she was joined at the event – held at the Birmingham NEC – by judge Daryl Stephenson, a Cambria work-based learning assessor and one of the most respected names in the industry, with more than 20 years’ experience.

Naomi, who turned to baking following the death of her mum three years ago, was thrilled to win the section and finish second in the overall standings.

“I honestly was over the moon to win Best Fruit Cake, especially with the recipe being a Bara Brith!” she said.

“I’ve made this cake countless times over the years and I’m so pleased that the judges enjoyed eating it as much as I enjoyed baking it.

“The support I have received from Daryl and the college has been second to none, and I wouldn’t have even known these competitions existed without his guidance. It’s been great to be able to study for a qualification whilst working too.

“I’ve already started planning my bakes ready for next year’s competition!”

Daryl, who regularly visits her on the Wirral to assess progress and support her academic journey, said she is a “star of the future”.

“I obviously didn’t judge Naomi’s category but was there running my eye over other competitors and she was up there with the very best of them,” he said.

“It’s a pleasure to see how talented, hard-working and passionate she is, she has come a very long way in just a few years and is already making her mark in the UK and on the international stage.”

Daryl, from Ruabon, added: “It was an honour to be on the judging panel, especially as this is the first time British Baker has ever held these awards, and for one of our students to be among the winners was the icing on the cake!”

Naomi will soon begin a new role at Cambria’s Iâl Restaurant in Wrexham, as lead baker and patisserie chef.

For more on the Baking Industry Awards, visit the website: Baking Industry Awards 2024 – Homepage (bakeryawards.co.uk)

Visit www.cambria.ac.uk for the latest news and information from Coleg Cambria.